Financial accountability


Universities receive funds to carry out their tasks, from the Government. The lump sum finance from the Government is a major part of the universities' total revenue. Institutions that receive state funding from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) and the Ministry of Economic Affairs (EZ), draw up an annual report each year. Universities account for their (financial) policy by means of the annual report, thereby informing the government, students and Dutch society about their performance in the field of education, research and their activities in terms of knowledge valorisation. They also provide information on performance relating to public funds.


The universities' annual accounts are what they use to give an overview of their financial situation. These consist of:


  1. the balance sheet on a particular reference date,
  2. a profit and loss account, or P&L, for the past year and
  3. a cash flow summary.


Annual accounts are always audited by an external auditor. On approval of the annual accounts the auditor provides an audit opinion, which is included in full in the annual accounts. This audit is an important guarantee for a sustainable and healthy management of universities.

The content of the annual report differs from university to university, but is based on a number of fixed lines of accountability. The 'Regeling jaarverslaggeving onderwijs' (Annual Accounts Regulations) set out the requirements which the educational institutions' reporting must meet. Universities follow this guideline when drafting the annual report.


Universities' annual reports